Netherlands, Sweden, Denmark

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Netherlands, Sweden, Denmark  Every country, every provider, every woman and man wants to have the best outcome for their baby as possible. Yet the way we achieve this could not be more different as we look at maternity care systems around the world and even the diversity of care that is  often offered in one’s own community.   Having just returned from Holland, Sweden, and Denmark, three of the countries that are always cited when you look to countries with the best outcome for both mother’s and babies during childbirth, even within themselves they have different models of care.  Holland, where 30% of babies are born at home and unless you have a clear risk factor, home birth is free and low risk women must pay a fee to give birth in hospital.  As in the Netherlands, in Sweden and Denmark midwives attend all healthy low risk women during childbirth, but in a hospital with less than 1 % of birth out of hospital.  Each of these countries hosted screenings of Orgasmic Birth and the discussions that ensued demonstrated that even in countries that use the best research to guide their practices, including a midwifery model of care,  there is a growing need to personalize care.    Care that includes: continuous support and continuity of care, acknowledging that this is a sensitive time in a woman and baby’s life.  I believe it is time to discuss birth as a social event, to consider both the  short and long term implications on the health and well being of both mother and baby. The U.S remains well behind in both maternal and infant outcomes which is no surprise when we look at the gap we have between what the evidence tells us is safest and best for mother’s and babies and our current practices. Read the new Evidenced Based Maternity Care Report at It was a joy to spend time seeing and  learning about optimal models of maternity care.  It was an honor seeing that Orgasmic Birth opened up discussions to even more possibilities.

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